Rant

(Don’t) Tell Me About It

I’m a big fan of old people, they’re brilliant. They’ve survived a lot of shit, so they deserve respect. But there is something that irritates me, and it’s quite universal by the sounds of it:

Their gory detail of ailments and surgeries.

They love it! Nothing excites them more than telling you about their neighbour Isa’s knee surgery, or the helpful yet sweaty support of their orthopaedic tights.

I’ve listened to an in-depth explanation of how a relative had been constipated for two weeks, the consequent surgery and a description of “the results”, all while at the dinner table. There was beef gravy available, but my roast remained dry that day.

Without fail, I hear more detail than I want to. As a generation that doesn’t do the “Facebook inner thoughts 24/7 365 broadcast” approach, I would have thought they would be a bit more reluctant to divulge personal information.

Not when it comes to health issues, it seems.

Where does this morbid fascination come from? Is there a point in the ageing process where a switch goes off in your head and you think “Know what’s cool? Varicose Veins”!

Cool

Nature Crowdsourcing

This is a really interesting project from Nerds for Nature:

On September 8, 2013, 3,111 acres around the summit of Mt. Diablo went up in flames. While the charred landcape can appear alarming, fire is actually a natural part of the mountain’s ecology, and many plants actually require fire to reproduce. We’re trying to monitor how the landscape is changing and recovering after the fire by taking pictures from fixed locations for 1 year after the fire.

People are asked to take photos from fixed areas around the location. I think it’s a great use of crowdsourcing – I’d definitely take part if there was something that like that where I live.

Rant, WTF

Unwelcome Train Buddies

I’m currently on a train carriage that looks like this:

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We just pulled up to a station where five people got on the carriage. One of them sat right beside me.

Right. Beside. Me.

The train, from my seat, now looks like this:

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And yet someone is now on the seat next to me. She is elbowing me in the side as I type this.

Are these people creatures of habit? Is that her “regular” seat? Does she ache for the body warmth an (angry) stranger on the train will provide? Or is she just thick?

For anyone who does a daily commute, you will know what it’s like being squashed together in a big can twice a day every day. And you will know the unbridled joy when there’s a quiet train and space to move in. There’s etiquette. Simple etiquette. If everyone pays attention, we can all have the space we need.

What’s so hard about that?

People just ignore this, though. It keeps happening! Either they’re right beside you or right across from you so you both have no leg room, even when they can sit diagonally and you’ll both be happy.

Listen, general public. Personal space is a big thing, stop ignoring it. If there are a multitude of free seats, don’t fuck it up by sitting next to someone when you don’t have to.

Think of it like a urinal, nobody wants neighbours when there’s no need to.

If it was a urinal, I’d probably piss on your shoes.

WTF

That’s a Safe Lunch…

Is it just me, or do these reusable sandwich wrappers remind you of sanitary pads?

original_kids-konserve-food-kozy-pack-two

At least you know your lunch is safe in the office fridge. If someone steals a chilled sanitary pad, chances are you’ve got a really weird colleague and should be frightened for your life.

Bonus jingle video:

WOAH BODYFORM! BODYFORMED FOR YOOOOOOOUUUUUUU!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zebXDyYuYK0

Rant

Industrial Loft Renovation

I am absolutely in love with this industrial loft style renovation of a home in Portland. The whole look is stunning. I would take every piece of furniture.

Loft Living: An Energy-Efficient Oasis in Portland, Oregon

General, Tip

Bullet Journal

I’m sure (*I hope) I’m not alone in my obsession with good old fashioned note-taking. My job is centered around the web and everything digital, but I can’t bring myself to convert completely.

I replaced books with a Kindle years ago (which halved my suitcase weight), but I just can’t give up notebooks. There’s something about taking physical notes that I love.

I use the Bullet Journal approach. It is essentially bullet points with a key to make it easy to see what needs attention.

The approach is based on common sense, but it’s good to see it there in black and white. I never considered adding an index, breaking notes up by month, or simply numbering pages, but it makes so much sense when you think about it.

The first time you are surprised by a question in a meeting and can flip to the answer immediately, you’ll be thankful you bothered!

Give Bullet Journal a read and get yourself organised!

app, iPhone, Mobile, Review

Regency Love: iPhone App

I was looking for a new mobile game to try out on the iPhone 6 a few days ago, and came across Regency Love on the app store top charts.

Experience life in the British Regency as a young gentlewoman, where you must maintain proper decorum, sharpen your wits, and find a suitable husband!

Now this is something I can play! Set aside the zombies and flying poultry: give me a ball and an enquiry as to the health of my family, and I’m in game heaven!

It’s very much a ‘choose your own adventure’ style game, a welcome flashback to my childhood. Essentially, you are given a set of answers to choose from when conversing with other characters. These answers set you off on your personal path to romance and finding a ‘suitable husband’.

I’ll admit, there were points where I had butterflies, worried my chosen answer would rob me of that elusive engagement. I got very carried away as it is pretty immersive for an Austen fan like me!

iPhone3-5Inch_Cut

I don’t want to spoil things, because part of the experience is in discovering the game yourself. There is very little in the way of signposting or help, but as with all well designed games, you get it eventually.

The artwork is beautiful and fits the era perfectly. I even find some of the gentlemen attractive, though I don’t know if it’s testament to the artist or a horrible indictment on my grip on reality.

The only niggle I have were the limited questions that became repetitive over time, but that really is no problem when you’re playing – you just know the answers quicker!

The app is currently listed at £2.99 on the app store. Considering the amount of effort that go into creating the app, that’s a bargain.

Recommended!

General, YouTUbe

The British Plug

I must admit I didn’t think I would find myself watching a video about a plug, never mind enjoy it, but there you go. I present to you a video about the design of the British Plug. It’s actually fascinating…

If that tickled your fancy, Tom Scott does a lot more

Dog, YouTUbe

Pet Halloween Costume

This will be Basil’s first Halloween, and I need to get him a great costume. There are so many options to choose from, but after seeing this video the decision has been made. Hilarious.

I wouldn’t be able to stop laughing at him running around in this.

WTF

Realising Lyrics

Ever sang a song without realising the words you’re actually saying out loud?

I just did that with Blue’s ‘Too Close’ (I was having a 90s/00s boyband flashback day, don’t judge me):

Baby when we’re grinding
I get so excited
Ooh, how I like it
I try but I can’t fight it
Oh, your dancing real close
Plus real real slow
You’re making it hard for me

I don’t know which is worse: catching yourself singing about an accidental dancefloor erection, or the music industry for making it into a music video:

General

Instagram Camera

There have been whispers of an Instagram camera for a while now. Looks like Polaroid may be bringing it to life, fingers crossed! I would definitely be interested in one of these wee bad boys.

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General

Printing Clothes: The Future?

According to Joshua Harris and his Clothing Printer Concept, we’ll be cutting out retailers by 2050. No more horrid dressing room lighting with that curtain that just won’t quite close properly.

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You can print any clothing you like, in any colour, then when you’ve finished you can reinsert it into the printer to break it down and use it all over again for a new garment. Sounds great!

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Since my wardrobe is 99% grey and black, I’ve got a feeling I’ll save a fair bit of money!

Greyscale all the way!

Film, Rant, Review

Film Review: Drinking Buddies

At the weekend I watched Drinking Buddies, a film starting Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson and Anna Kendrick.

It was an ‘indie’ film.

As a general rule I don’t mind ‘indie’ films. However, calling a film ‘indie’ these days is no longer about a good movie making it against the odds. It’s now a blanket word that marketing departments attach to a film to excuse rambling dialogue and a vague plot. It’s meant to be seen as a quirky piece, but just comes across as unplanned and a bit shit.

I spent most of the film thinking things like “it would be amazing if the lead guy contracted tetanus and died right now”, or “maybe there will be a gas leak explosion and all the main characters will die”! Neither of those things happened.

In fact, nothing happened. Every now and again they drank unidentified beer out of plastic cups, but that’s about the extent of the excitement.

This was definitely a modern day ‘indie’ film. A boring, flatline plot with messy dialogue and characters I wouldn’t put out if they were on fire.

I want my 90 minutes back.

WTF

Undeniable Talent

If you haven’t seen this video yet, watch it. The next time you worry about looking like a weirdo, just remember there’s someone out there who practiced this over and over then thought ‘I’m going to film this and put it to music’.

I’m strangely impressed.

Rant, WTF

Baby Busking

Have you ever read something so completely unexpected that you sit silently staring at the screen? That just happened to me reading this news story from a few days ago: Woman gives birth outside Birmingham Primark.

Giving birth outside isn’t that shocking, and I’m not exactly surprised it happened near a Primark. It was the statement from an ‘eye witness’ that had me stunned.

“Everyone was crowding the woman and after about five minutes everyone was clapping,” she said. “Everyone was throwing money at her. She got about £300 to £400.”

Just… what? People were throwing money at a woman who just gave birth on a pavement? What?! It’s not like the pavement screamed sanitary in the first place. Let’s throw some well handled money in there!

And since when did flashing a placenta equate to busking?! Unless she strummed the opening bars to Wonderwall with it, there’s no reason to throw money at her. It’s all a bit bizarre.

WTF

The Perfect Etsy Gift

Looking for the perfect birthday gift for someone who’s into their ‘vintage finds’? Etsy has you covered with this, eh, rather interesting antique necklace:

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It’s a beauty, yes? By beauty, I mean ‘creepy, creepy, creepy weird thing that would cause me to freak out knowing it was in or anywhere near my house’.

Just look at the detail. Look at it.

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I’m not going to lie – I’m a little worried I’ve even looked at the pictures. That necklace is definitely the start of a real life horror movie.

Rant

Facebook: Ahead of the curve?

Facebook have come under fire this week after they admitted trying out an experiment with their news feed in order to gauge if “exposure to emotions led people to change their own posting behaviours”. In other words, seeing if sad content encourages sad content.

It has resulted in a bit of a backfire, with a rather over zealous MP calling for an investigation into the matter, people claiming that it touches on a “wider failure in ethics, power and consent on platforms” and others just being downright offended at the study.

It makes me uncomfortable to think that my internet activity is being closely monitored, but let’s face it – Facebook aren’t the only ones at it. I doubt ANYTHING I’ve done on the internet in the last few years has failed to be recorded somewhere for further analysis, and I’m pretty sure I’ve been manipulated at some point (I own a set of poached egg pods and I don’t even like poached eggs).

Behavioural targeting isn’t new, it’s used everywhere.

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